Wednesday, December 2, 2015 1:05 pm
The Dangote Cement Company has denied all allegations of destabilization and illegality, contained in petition purportedly written by “Okpella Youth Forum” against it to the London Stock Exchange and published by some national dailies in Nigeria. It was entitled “Petition against destabilizing acts by Dangote Cement Company against Okpella community of Edo State,” dated 5 November 2015. The said petition purportedly emanated from the chambers of Mokidi & Co.
On the allegation that Dangote forcefully took over and caused mayhem over the limestone quarry in Okpella, the company said there was no iota of truth in this. Rather, it said authority/permission was actually granted by the traditional ruler, the Okuokpellagbe of Okpella Kingdomof, His Royal Majesty, Alhaji (Dr.) A.Y.E Dirisu for the site. This was in reference to the 21 October 2015 letter, signed by Dr. Dirisu, granting Dangote full authority/permission “to enable you enter Okpella bush to carry out exploration/surveys for mineral deposit.”
Also, Dangote buttressed its denial by referring to a rejoinder written by Okpella Development Initiative. The group which said it was duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (Reg No. 8852) said Mokidi & Co…is “ not known to Okpella Youth Forum and cannot therefore be acting on its behalf.” In other words, the forum said it “did not instruct or authorize Mokidi and Co to write any petition on its behalf or represent the interest of the Forum anywhere any time or at any level whatsoever.”
In another letter, dated 16 November 2015, written by the Forum to the London Stock Exchange, the group said that the aim of the petition was to frustrate the application of the Dangote group to be listed (at the London Stock Exchange).
On the allegation of destabilization, the Forum said the mayhem of 30 October and 4 November 2015 on Auchi, Okpella road which the petitioners said was perpetrated by Dangote might have been armed robbery which “have been over time, a common feature on the road.”
The forum, therefore, requested the London Stock Exchange to consider the application by the Dangote Group to be listed, purely on its merits without sentiment.
Dangote submitted further that as a responsible company with global operations, “We have never resorted to violence or the use of thugs to achieve our organization’s goals” adding that it is our mandate to invest in peace, given our scale of operations in Nigeria and other countries.”